From late August onwards, the Belgian bus company De Lijn will operate 2 hybrid hydrogen bus routes around the country, in journeys around Antwerp and as part of a public-private partnership.
The bus can take 104 passengers, coupling the fuel cells to a tank containing 40kg of hydrogen and an efficient electric motor which gives the bus a minimum range of 350km.
The hydrogen bus is an example of a public-private partnership and came about as a result of the support of the Flemish Government, UTC Power, Siemens, IWT-Vlaanderen, Air Liquide and De Lijn.
UTC Power supplied the fuel cell, Air Liquide both the filling station and the hydrogen, with Siemens developing the propulsion system and De Lijn advising bus manufacturer Van Hool about the interior of the bus.
Managing director Leopold Van Hool commented, $quot;I'm delighted, thanks to support from the Flemish government and De Lijn, that our company has contributed to the improvement in the air quality around our towns and villages. We need to realise that this technically advanced product could only have been developed as a result of the cooperation between the government, the user and the commercial sector.$quot;
The difference between existing fuel cell buses and this latest innovation is that this model is capable of being driven by 2 sources, using less fuel than those running purely on hydrogen and increasing economic viability.